472 Comments

It is not just the Law schools taking this hit, Dr. Reich, it is the Legal Profession. This was a noble profession of very, very long standing. People like Cruz, De Santis, Rubio, and two many others are blackening this profession. As are members of the formerly Supreme Court. The American Bar Association needs to investigate and take action. If we are once again to hold the Legal Profession in the esteem it used to deserve then it is up to the membership of the American Bar Association and every State Bar Association to demand that their profession uphold its duty to the public as a whole and condemn those who trample its reputation into dust.

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Oy.

I was an officer of the ABA for over 20 years. It does not have the power to disbar or censure lawyers. It did have the distinction of performing fitness evaluations for judicial and public employee appointments, most famously for the Supreme Court. It also does have a policy aspect. Attached is a list: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/human_rights/resources/policy/

Lawyers are state licensed and their licenses are subject to collateral attack.

Robert is right that most law schools are trade schools and do not certify that their graduates are moral or ethical. In order to practice, normally a bar exam is required. Some law schools "teach to the test," and "ethics" is on the test.

When I practiced, and when I was a judge, behind the scenes organizations like state bars, the Judicial Conference of the US and various states have established procedures to investigate criminal or unethical behavior. Members of Congress and public employees have more restrictions than a lawyer. Some lawyers spend more time defending themselves than in practicing law, but most have no discipline records.

Fay, if you see criminal or unethical conduct, report it.

Most of my professional life, I lived in a fishbowl as do all public employees and members of Congress. I'm sure there is probable cause to perpetually investigate for say, judicial bias and I am incensed that PARTIES do not ask to question for bias.

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Donald Hodgins

just now

DeSantis and Cruz are two bad apples hanging from the same branch. Ted is a wishy washy weak kneed Texas idiot. DeSantis is a second generation Trump clone that was given a better brain but later deemed to be defective because of his inability to use it. This is the best the Republicans can do in their effort to come up with candidates for the 2024 election, and they call the Democrats pathetic.

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is it DeSanctimonious

or de Santos? I can

never remember.

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Kristofarian, Are you sure it is not as I have heard a few times, DeSatan?

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When I think of him, DeFascist immediately comes to mind.

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I believe you've

just conquered

Florida. well

done!

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That's my thought exactly and why we don't want him as president. With the SCOTUS as it is now it would be the end of Democracy in our country.

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

I'm pretty Certain it's either

George DeSantis or Ron

Santos. perhaps they're

the same Personage?

.

one's a lying Fascist

the other a fascist Liar.

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I love your perspective.

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DeSadist?

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Yes, another appellation I've used for him.

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A fitting description of an idiot.

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DeShitHead!

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Either way it makes no sense.

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

You just reminded me of a CTC bus advertisement back in the early '60s that read:

"ECIDUJERP!

spelled either way it makes no sense."

Ah yes. I realize that was a mythical time when you could count on people being fairly well educated and able to spel! LOL! (Note I ignored the spell check!)

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Those were the days.

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It doesn't really make a difference.

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See this this right here is one of the reasons why we are not going to be able to come together as a country. It seems most people do not want to recognize the fact that while DeSantis barely won in 2018 he won by what , 18 pts last year? That bears some dissection as to why people like him. Yes, popularity, waxes and wanes but there’s always a reason and dismissing people out of hand is not actually furthering anything. Trying to understand why people like him and why he ended up winning by such a large margin is in fact, an important exercise. Get out there and meet people, talk to people, try and understand your fellow man and you will be shocked, shocked, I say, when you find you have way more in common than you have that divides you.

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DeSantis is the governor in a state that is flooded with elderly people. These good souls see their governor as young attractive and well spoken man. His charm directed toward that portion of Florida's population was a sure thing. They trust him to look out for their best interests. Elderly minds can at times be rather weak. He plays to them like he would a crowd of movie goes in Holly Wood.

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Oh so that’s it? I’m so relieved.

I highly doubt that’s the case. Many people have been relocating to Florida over the last few years and they are not elderly.

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The elderly still rule, as far as Clearwater goes.

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You’re right. Unrestrained bias destroys the integrity of a court of law.  And if the judiciary goes down the tubes, we’re left with no remedy as citizens. We’re at the mercy of the crazy legislative branch &

the marginally functional executive branch. We’re presently screwed. 

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Thank you, Daniel. I have always been an admirer of written law. I wanted to be a Constitutional Lawyer and was taking pre-law courses toward that end, when my jerk of a husband threatened to end my education if I didn't return to the teaching credential. It pains me as much as it does you and attorneys like you to see politicians with law degrees spitting on the law. I am fortunate enough to have a son-in-law who is a practicing attorney. I am aware that Attorneys must pass the bar exam in the State or States in which they want to practice. I think the problem is us. We assume that because we are ethical, everyone else would want to be ethical. So we don't build in specific punishments for crossing the line in the many ways unethical creatures like cruz et al. I'm not even sure it is possible for ethical people to imagine all the ways these greedy, selfish (curse words) choose to tarnish this and other professions. There are (for lack of a better word) evil people in the medical profession, education profession, and even the religious professions.

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

'Solomon'?

a former judge?

are you the same guy

those two women came before

to establish Paternity and was able

to separate* the Wheat from the chaff?

.

I thought your name

was Familiar.

.

*Brilliantly

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If I was you might find me a bit grainy.

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'Colonel' Hodgins?

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No I'm sort of shy, more of a private guy.

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The greatest discomfort in representative government is that the ultimate solution for any problem lies with the body politic. Someone should do something. Look then to the Donald if you want a champion.

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That hound couldn't tree a squirrel.

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Do go on.

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"just a Flu!"

he screeched

and then Waited

till the COVID Killed

hoping His numbers

might never fall. oops!

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Oy INDEED !! And thanks for the link . . . I am as always reminded of the value of reiteration in the name of truth and knowledge.

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Oy Vey, I hear ya.

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The machine just wants to corner the market. Jackson and Alito are indistinguishable, to Harvard. They both count as a ‘win.’

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A political endorsement from a major university should also include an assessment of the negatives being expressed by the opposition.

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Compel that private speech, why not.

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Not compelled, suggested. If nothing exists no need to say anything.

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Should is not a precise term. Must requires compliance, should is a projected aspirational term that is, generally, of no precise meaning. It's like saying "Corporations should be ethical" while I may agree, no 2 people can be, together ethical, and the should produces no ethical change since should isn't measurable. Ultimately, behavior is only regulated by must/may not with enforcement, whether by statute or contract enforcement

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Oh Fay, I so agree with your call to the ABA to step up and start "policing" its own ranks and that state associations should do that as well. It seems lawyers in general have been permitted to behave abominably for decades with little or nothing done to correct their bad behavior. Nominees to the Supreme Court have not been properly vetted to be sure they have the interests of this nation superseding their personal religious beliefs or desires. Fantasy justices claim to "know" what the founders were thinking and meant when they wrote the Constitution while they make up stuff to support themselves, not the founders' intent. They are all lawyers, but the conservative justices seem to be working with a moral compass (if they have one) that is at odds with the American people, perhaps even humanity in general. Harvard, Yale, and their ilk should be aware of this and be actively working to positively address it. I doubt they actually are.

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I guess you didn't read "Oy" above.

Some lawyers have a practice devoted to bias, discrimination and legal malpractice. Virtually every court has a complaint department. Who you gonna call?

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I suggest their moral compasses are aligned with Rome, not the Constitution and all the hierarchical unbending autocracy imbedded in it's bloody history.

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Not Rome as "natural law" as defined by Rome is not incorporated in our Constitution.

IMHO it's easy. Academic ethics is mostly BS.

OT do unto others.

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I specifically mean exactly Rome and was not referring to "natural law." Their moral compasses are aligned with "moral authority" that proceeds, more than anywhere else for 2000 years, from Rome. If you wish to refer to Christian/Pauline interpretation of Mosaic law, which is not my intent whatsoever, maybe quote it correctly.

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You mean the eternal city, home of the Vatican where church dogma expresses natural law.

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Indeed. Vatican would have been more precise, am used to self-censoring for inclusion in public comments not being machine deleted.

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ABA is a voluntary association. It has no police powers. Lawyers are licensed by each state. Even some states don't require membership in a state bar association although I'm guessing they still have some agency that disciplines lawyers. Texas, where Cruz is supposedly licensed, has a "unified bar" which means the lawyers MUST belong to the State Bar of Texas ALTHOUGH they are licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Once again, the multiplicity of oversight means . . . not much oversight.

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Kenna, I know you are right about the various law organizations, but it seems to me there must be ways those organizations can publish the names of lawyers who are not practicing in good faith or something. I know those organizations have standards they expect their members to follow. Maybe there is some way to point out those who don't meet those standards and why, if it is not confidential.

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That would be libel by some standards and a subjective way to essentially remove a means of making a living from someone. Public rebuke is not discipline, it's BS and actionable (ask Fox). Money buys legal opinions regardless of ethical considerations, often. Yet squelching views outside of group norms is obscene.

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In Texas, one can report lawyer actions to the State Bar Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee can issue a private reprimand, which will be noted in the Texas Bar Journal; a public reprimand, also noted in the TBJ; or can suspend a license or even debar a license. All those are noted in the TBJ. It's one of the most interesting pages in the publication.

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I agree...but we're living in a era of rampant corruption ESPECIALLY in the legal profession. I can't remember the law firm's name but there is a huge firm that placed a lot of people (Don McGahn, for instance) in Trump's White House. Terrible things happened during Trump's presidency and this firm is responsible for covering up and allowing unprecedented illegal behavior from Trump. Good grief, look at the bevy of lawyers involved in the effort to overturn our free and fair election, THEY ARE ALL free. Giuliani lost his license in some areas, big deal! White collar crime hasn't be prosecuted since the Savings and Loan Scandal in the late 80's. I have a sick feeling that nothing is going to happen here either, the plutocratic class is running this country now and I think we won't be a democratic one in 2025 if Republicans continue dominating with the help of Christian Nationalism, violence and right wing news megaphones. Other countries have hate speech laws and the EU is regulating hate speech online. It is unsustainable to remain a strong democratic country without a significant shift in these destruction elements.

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Just look at Bill Barr.... slimy snake giving Law a really bad name. How much are we supposed to swallow until we vomit the entire sordid mess of unaccountable!

Well , until we simply do not accept this low bar of “ low Bar”. Have we no shame? Make the News media accountable too! Sick and tired of the lies just to get an audience?

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The answer to that....don't listen.

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McGahn came from and returned to Jones Day.

The name Kirkland & Ellis has come up quite a few times; some pretty notorious conservative attorneys (Barr, Acosta, Bork, Cipollone, Eastman, Clark, and many others both honorable and not so honorable) have been associated with it.

K&E may well be ideological by design, but they mostly seem to worship Mammon. With >$6 billion in 2021, it's the largest law firm in the world by gross revenue. Jones Day grossed a paltry $2.4 billion in 2021.

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Well Said !! We disreguard our past at the peril of our future. Awakened not woke, educated not indoctrinated.

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Yes there are a lot of lawyers making headline while trampling the reputation of a very old revered profession. We notice them because their disgusting behavior makes them the darlings of the news media. Bad behavior sells, good behavior doesn't. Why do you think President Biden get so little press for all he has accomplished? More than Obama, leagues above the tumpster and George W?

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Let’s add Ginni “release the kraken” Thomas to that list--she attended Creighton U. The Pope is happy to let that slide, having received all those millions from Leonard Leo . . .

The right-wing proves that Humanities are important as a basis of education . . . Because right-wingers have no humanity. They are a soulless, money-gouging, power-seeking blight upon the Earth, starting with their masterminds among the KKKoch Billionaire gang.

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Robert Reich does not have a Phd. even his law degree is an LLB about a decade before law degrees became JDs or Juris Doctor. I hate to disappoint you further but Robert Reich is not an economist either, although he wants people to believe that.

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I don't either. Who you? ..

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' .. with [graduates like you], the legal profession is in good hands.' These were the approximate concluding words of a member of the 3-justice panel which 'graded' the 2 top grads of the (then) Boalt Law School, at the conclusion of the Jan. 2011 Mock Trial. They were, by the way, the slickest ..

Anyway, that member was Justice Sotomayor. I was shocked, 'specially since I'd just completed a 2-year paralegal certification. What a cynical field I was entering; I decided not to. She didn't emphasize law, but the profession of law, aka 1/3 off the top. Sir, please don't feed the lawyers ..

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It's unfortunate the experience demotivated you. Without understand the entire incident and unable to evaluate it I can say that Sotomayor disappointed me only once, when she tried to convince recent grads that everything was collegial and respectful among the Brethren. Alito could be seen in the background head spinning with eyes of burning flame, as he mailed the promised early draft of his Forced Birth screed to leakers. Notice how the Gang of Six makes all public statements near Coney Barretts former cult residence (Notre Dame) or some other papal induction facility or near Rome? Alito even whined about international critique of his 100% legal-, logic-, and precedent-free decision. These puppets lack integrity, intellect, experience and empathy and not one is qualified for their lifelong positions of authority.

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Her praise didn't harden me against her or her colleagues that evening, but rather focused a reality about the professional fortress that is the legal profession ..

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ı feel the deepest profoundest sense of grıef over the dısappearence of the country where ı grew up. at age 80 and a 100% disabled us veteran who happened to enlist during the cuba crisis i have seen the end of the usa starting with bush v gore and five us supreme court justices taking massive bribes openly selling out our democracy and virtually no real outrage left right or center gore kerry obama all getting along quite nicely with the systematic dismantling of law in favor of the power of the few . and fail to comprehend it nor how and why obama's selling off a democratic super majority in both houses so he would not preside over any triumph of progressive policy under his administration ruling out single payer medical care and just reimbursement of taxpayer investment in medicine and every other industry in the economy, every industry benefitting from us industrial policy and not returning a sou to the taxpayer but getting tax relief transfering 90% of gain in productivity from workers to the top 1%

transforming the country in the last 30 some odd years from the world's most socially mobile to its least while stiffing working people with every increasing debt and scamming our working class with every increasing interest on students education. while building the world's largest penal system torturing poor people.

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founding

Would you consider writing an op ed for a major news paper? You post deserves wider distribution. You nailed,,,oh except for the billions in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, big agriculture etc

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If you made it this far Isa, you can make it through some more of this shit. There is no perpetual motion machine. I feel ashamed for my country on behalf of my dear and still living 95-year-old mother....just wondering what she’s thinking about the country that she worked so hard to build.. her anguish is palpable.

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Ask her directly, that would enlighten and remove her projected, but unknowable views.

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Tried that. The words won’t come anymore, but her face provides a clear answer.

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Wow. My mom & I argued emotionally over Orangiolini, but I would never disrespect her by representing her unspoken views to others as a valid argument. May I always be free of, no matter how old, anyone speaking with my authority without my authorization.

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Great post Isa. With an Ivy League education I think all things would be possible so the mystery is how these folks chose a life of friction.

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as an anthropologist, i can say with reasonable certainty that, until second half of the 20th century at least, all known human cultures all categorized greed as the worst evil. until US economics pseudo science, harvard business school, wharton and the MBA made gred our highest aspiration. unique in human history, human biology being based on division of labor and systematic sharing through cultural rules of productive distribution.

as we se with climate catastrophe, the 6th mas extinction, Sen's prof that all famine is caused by profiteering, repeated holocaust as policy since admiral columbus successfully eliminated the carb nations, and the anglican church hunted tasmanians to extinction, the people not the dog., capitalism as an economic idea fails - economies not being about maximum elimination of people but the opposite, maximising well being IMHO ... a species that eliminates itself like sadam huseyins and adolf hitlers is a fail evolutionarily speaking

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

After reading your post I feel my mind is very shallow. I really appreciate your viewpoint and knowledge.

Please do write letters to all the editors you can reach.

I believe in capitalism although with stiff regulation.

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Evolutionary failure happens when less adaptive varieties expire before reproducing.

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not exactly. the relative rates of reproduction of traits determine evolution. the basic equation is simple but the fact that traits interact makes the mathematics too complex to talk about in a box

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Friction = billable hours. No mystery here.

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Not even billable hours but rather billable moments-- both medical clinics and law firms seem to be focused on the bucks. Humanity = sad.

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Isa, thank you for your service and thank you for spelling things out plainly. It seems the rule of law is being ruled by the dollar.

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I agree with all except that it started with Reagan. He was the beginning of the end of democracy as we knew it.

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we owe the corruption of the court to rr and gwh but clarence thomas is a special gift from judiciary chair mr joe biden who took a sledge hammer to the lives of those who reported that individual's almost complete lack of basic personal ethics

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nixon ford rr ghw gw darth cheney and u kno who all used treasonable associations with foreigners to get elected, and nixon's treason was classified by lbj followed by perhaps history's greatest obstruction of justice, the ford pardon

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i have lived overseas since 1986 because of the racism era introduced and established by rr and company

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I agree with that commencement timing for the mostly-unbroken-since-then current trajectory of our nation. The nuts-and-bolts problems with Congress was best brought home to me by reading the Caros' exhaustive series on LBJ.

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not familiar with that. the only democrat candidate i never voted for was LBJ because of the unnecessary stupidity of war in southeast asia. up there with the top two or three stupidest decisions in US history. when he accepted his nomination, all i could see was endless piles of dead people radiating out in every direction and unfortunately i was right.

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What nonsense. One example - “ five us supreme court justices taking massive bribes openly selling out our democracy”. Just made up rambling garbage. “World’s largest penal system torturing poor people”? Some incomprehensible garbage about Obama.

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Agreed, except your specific quote regarding our systematic imprisonment of poor and minorities. That's well documented and real, just like CIA & crack - an unfortunate and shameful truth.

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Really? Torturing poor people ?

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You don't think our imprisonment culture, much in solitary (long considered torture) of brown and black people who pleed guilty because they can't afford legal process is torture? Spend a week in solitary and revisit. We exact draconian punishment & have overflowing hell holes and cost while EU countries jail and treat humanely investing in social re-entry and end up leasing cells no longer needed. The differences between success and failure are not even nuance, they are obvious and shameful.

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Professor Reich, I do wish you could hear the loud and protracted applause coming from this writer! I have been railing and ranting about the "elite" Ivy League (especially) schools' law schools' (and other, but mostly law) graduates who seem to number disproportionately among the liars, seditionists, profiteers, and experts at public corruption. I have wondered (aloud to kind relatives) why academic institutions don't or can't rescind degrees. It should be broadcast loudly and often that these "bent" figures are graduates of the schools that tout themselves as superior to other institutions when, in fact, they graduate "lawyers" and public "servants" who might as well have gotten a degree from the P.T. Barnum College of Carnival Barkers as expert "carnies." The reason so many public figures are graduates of Harvard, Yale, Princeton is "who ya know" and so the machine keeps feeding itself and taking care of its own. American education in general though is failing at "making" good citizens and decent human beings.

Great praise and appreciation for this article, Professor Reich.

Given William "Bill" Barr, Rudy Guiliani, Sydney Powell, Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, et al. et al....one wonders: what does it mean to be an attorney in America these days? Why are those people and their ilk still able to practice law at all? Shouldn't they be relegated to some dusty office in some run-down building in some downtown, no elevator, no AC, a receptionist named "Velda" at a shabby old desk and the lettering on the door saying, Bill Barr, Private Dick and Dog Walker, LLC.

(Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, et al., apologies.)

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As someone who spent my career in academia, believe me that there have been occasions when we wished that we could rescind a degree. There were times when some of us questioned the wisdom of granting the degree in the first place! But those students fulfilled the published requirements for the degree, so the degree stands. Sadly, don't be an a**hole isn't a requirement for a degree, but if it were we might all be in trouble.

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Annie, that was awesome. I also wonder why we the people keep permitting these low-lifes to hold office, serve as judges, and get paid huge salaries to undermine our democracy one lie, one cheat at a time. I like your image of a hole in the wall dark office for these creeps, but alas, they are out in the open with lots of people drooling over them and their evil pronouncements of racist, misogynistic, homo/transphobic garbage. Disgusting!

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Let us celebrate one outstanding Harvard Law Grad who has worked endlessly for the public good and is a moral decent man, Ralph Nader. I am sure there are many others but he has been the most influential to me and many others.

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Michael, maybe that's what we need to do to start getting Harvard and Yale and their ilk on some kind of rehab toward training good people who practice law. Perhaps a list should be compiled of Ivy League, Stanford, and the other "top" law schools' quality lawyer list and only include on it those who have done significant work to improve the life of our nation and its people, and the world. Then, publish the "loser list" on which are listed the names of lawyers who have done their best to disgrace the school, this nation, and the people of the world. It could go out over social media for comment and suggestions. Peer pressure can be of great benefit sometimes.

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And much to the shame of other Ivy League (and other) alums, Ralph Nader was blamed for the election results that gave us (inflicted upon us) Bush-Cheney. It was, and continues to this day, a despicable process of scapegoating that so wrongly painted Nader as the villain, the "spoiler." It's the same kind of cunning machinations that have labeled Jimmy Carter "the worst President" (even WHILE *Rump was inciting overthrow of the government!) and the on-going scapegoating of Bernie Sanders as the "spoiler" of the Clinton+DNC planned coronation of Hillary. The scheming that goes on "behind the scenes" to marginalize any candidate who might lead to actual change from the status quo leaves behind clues about agendas. One of the most damaging eras of the powerful establishment's agendas was that which undermined Jimmy Carter's time in office, giving us the actor/con-man Ronald Reagan and setting the stage for all that has ensued since then. The labeling of Jimmy Carter as "the worst President" is usually followed by the arrogant patronizing addendum, "but best post-Presidency."

The bilge we are fed....and that too many accept.

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Annie, a really good summary of what people who understand the value of change are up against. Our reality is warped every time lies are put out there in a form that Americans can easily latch onto without having to "look it up." Right now, despite the progress made by the Biden administration, polls say things are not better than a year ago (a lie for nearly everyone), and that Democrats are not doing a good job. We do not learn who is taking these polls and of whom. They are just tossed out like truth. Carter was far from the worst president. I say that the next 4 presidents who followed him were all worse and gave us only greater inequality and unregulated internet and commerce as well as huge tax cuts for the rich. Clearly Democrats have got to get far better messaging to survive amidst Republican regular use of lying, cheating, and gaslighting, now integral to their process. It's hard to watch.

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The far right and Republicans with big money started think tanks many years ago and capture of the media/newspapers to form a well oiled propaganda machine and domination of the message. The Democratic counterpart started late and has not been effective. And of course both Dems and Repubs parties shamelessly accept corporate bribes and are often in cahoots against the needs of the people.

And the corporate Democrats continue to push back against the progressives inside the party.

Things do appear to be looking better???--except for the fact that the ultra rich continue to rob the nation.

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The Good Ole Boy network is alive and well.

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So is their conscience. https://www.citizensforethics.org/

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Thank you for that linked site. Very interesting. Plus it had the added bonus of seeing Fani Willis' name in a headline there; a bonus because, while I anxiously hope for her protection and safety and worry about her in that environment, I am also in awe and admiration for her courage and moxie and apparent integrity! She is a force, a warrior, and she is swimming amongst alligators of all kinds of enmity to her. May "the force" be with her. Attorney Fani Willis seems to be the righteous answer to all the others who call themselves attorneys but who soil the word and the profession.

Anyway, thanks for that link.

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May I add more gratitude for the link because I see on their Board of Directors, "The Honorable Claire McCaskill" and she is another who evokes great admiration for her blunt, honest and informed public comments about public corruption, integrity, plain old right and wrong, with wit and force - and she is another GOOD attorney! (I don't know where she went to school. We do know where her political opposites in Missouri went to school, e.g. Josh Hawley.)

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Like the visual of Bill 'I'm not applying just you know thinking" aka Bambino "if I can cover my own fat one I can whitewash yours" Barr. I think he's caught in the "Sanitize Reputation" cycle at the moment. One invented self-serving comment calling crazy what it was deflected questions about a ton of manipulative unethical and illegal behavior, though, didn't it? 100% self serving and a defense rather than honest indictment. Har har.....

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These two Harvard Law grads also point up the inconvenient fact that Harvard Law School — like Yale Law, which I attended decades ago — is little more than a trade school that teaches students how to make money by winning cases for clients, but doesn’t impart a higher public duty to uphold and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

Wow, so, so true!

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Well I went to a State University Trade school but in a different field, engineering. Not the teaching of the school but of one machine design professor that pushed us really hard to get our Professional Engineer license. You had to take and pass the EIT, engineer in training, and then with four years of experience under a licensed engineer you could take the test for a PE license. One of the key non technical parts of both exams was the Ethics questions. My machine design professor spent almost as much time on the Ethics as he did on the design engineering. He felt so strongly about this that he would lend you the money to take the EIT to be paid back with no interest after you got a job. This was 1968, it made a strong difference in years as an engineer and manager.

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By the way, that State University Trade school happens to be the University of Illinois at urbana-champaign. One of the better engineering schools in the US, in my and others opinion.

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Dave Smucker: This country used to value engineering: The first aeroplane was American, the first liquid-fueled rocket, the transistor, the laser, the global positioning system, first man on the moon, mass production of the automobile, etc., all were developments from long ago.

When did we lose our way and hand leadership over to lawyers (whose modus operandi seems to be to obscure, rather than reveal, the truth) and money people (whose modus operandi is to charge a fee to take money out of one pocket and put it in another)?

Lawyers have an important role in society to prevent people making stupid mistakes in a contract, or mitigating matters if they do. Financiers have an important role in insuring ships at sea. Neither group is trained for political leadership in the real world.

Imagine that your main role as an engineer was to obscure the truth about a bridge you had just built?

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For me much of this is tied up in Engineering Ethics. I lead a team that put a new rolling mill into Alcoa's Davenport Works Hot mill in 1989 - an outstanding team effort and my job was to give them room and the means to get the job done and done well. If you have be on a commercial aircraft built since 1990 you flew on metal roll on this mill. We don't want aircraft to fall out of the sky. Now Boeing is a perfect example of what happens when you replace the engineering leadership of a company with folks driven by money and schedule and not the safety of the flying public. Airplanes then fall out of the sky is the result.

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Same with GE. Went from a brilliant engineering company worth $400 billion, to a manufacturer of light bulbs worth $50 billion, after Jack Welch turned it into a financial institution.

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Yep, we said GE stood fot Go Elsewhere and we did to ABB and Siemens. Both great companies. Don't get me started on Jack Welch

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Careful with rockets, the Nazis developed the first 2 successful versions (V1 & V2) and we grabbed their scientists and prototypes to prevent the USSR from getting. The fuel type has varied considerably and not progressively (not better, just different or fit for purpose). It's also disengenuous to omit our atomic ordinance prowess and leadership.

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Mark Bonine: Dave Smucker (below) is correct. The American Roert Goddard designed, patented and flew the first liquid fueled rockets (across farmland in Massachusetts in the early 20th Century). Werner von Braun merely took Goddard's designs and scaled them up to larger rockets, as he himself admitted.

As to atomic ordnance, this research was begun in at least two countries (England and Germany) although almost all the effort was eventually placed in the Manhattan Project in the US. In any case, although I didn't intend to provide an exhaustive list, you appear to be making my point.

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Robert H. Goddard built the first liquid fueled rocket in 1926 in the USA. That is why it is called the Goddard Space Center. The Germans where very good at producing the first high volume production of liquid oxygen and hence the V2. It also became the needed technology for the Basic Oxygen Furnace that change the world of steel making (outside the US) after WW2.

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The first two functional rockets (did actual work delivering payloads) that were not ticking bombs and were also manufacturable were V1, V2. All quibbling aside Engineering is not inherently good, bad or ethical. All knowledge can be used to help humanity or destroy it. Or as seen in "Life of Brian" "Splitters!" and "Follow the Holy Sandal" Worship and veneration of icons or types of knowledge is divisive and ultimately leads to ruin.

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As a UIUC grad myself, albeit Class of 2021, this struck me still. I was a Business Honors student, and I can say having worked with and being friends with many other B School grads from different colleges and universities, that our focus on ethics and honest business frameworks is second to none.

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Ah, the axis of evil: Harvard, Wall Street, and Washington DC.

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The flip side is that because the rest of us didn't get into Harvard or work for Big Law, we have inferiority complexes that force us to outwork those bastards.

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I hope not! Perhaps it's because their hours earn at a higher rate? Greed can corrupt anything. Acting outside of ethical or legal norms also commands a risk premium.

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And now, the 'Supreme' court!

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Not the "Iron Triangle?"

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As a matter of fact, I am a graduate of the Iron Triangle, Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam, 1967, operations Junction City and Cedar Falls.

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

Iron triangles >everywhere<, and not a drop to drink! LOL! (Thanks for your service, fellow Vietnam vet.)

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

Dzk ; that's in Wshington, DC too!

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

I want to go to law school but there are so many barriers that they put in place that make it almost impossible. if I became a lawyer, I would be a white-collar crime prosecutor and advocate for labor rights. Seeing these corporations violate the law of disabled workers and anyone they don't like makes me so angry. And the way corporations have taken over our country is outrageous. I would be the lawyer that they all fear. I am a member of United For Respect Walmart chapter a labor rights advocacy group and we are getting things done that Walmart will never do without pressure.

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Find a way to do it, Peter. This nation is dying of Rot at the Top, we need fresh blood up there. I worked full time and went to college, graduated, have professional certifications. But that was possible then, the barriers are much higher now . . .

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RBG overcame obstacles that would drive many men to dispair. The obstacles you fear are never higher than your imagination, their protected origin.

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I'm working on it and I will get it done I just think that the barriers colleges put in place don't do anyone any good. They are superficial and meaningless.

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Graduate here of night program at University of Houston Bates College of Law and Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law (online LLM in immigration). It can be done. It's worth the student loans if necessary. Houston is a good place to live for law school as it has two state universities with law schools (UH and TSU) plus a well-known private law school (South Texas College of Law). I believe there are at least 3 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well. No, they're no Harvard or Yale, but basics are basics and most of your success will be up to you, anyway. You can network wherever you are. GO for it.

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I would if I could move there but unfortunately I don't have the means to do so.

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Rich, privileged, elitist, it is no surprise Harvard wanted them and they wanted Harvard. Wealth still opens doors that minority status alone cannot compete with. But, nobody sees the irony in vilifying affirmative action. But, in fairness to Harvard, assuming that is ever necessary, how Cruz and DeSantis were b4 law school probably had the most effect on how they are now. I went to a good law school and was an anomaly for being very liberal and from a middle class family.

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I was rejected by both Harvard and Yale. Told by more than one source that was BECAUSE they had to take minorities... and legacies.

On the other hand I owe some of my career to my VA points.

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It was their loss.

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And yet how many of our friends told us our failure to be chosen was not due to our own lesser qualifications or social status but to systemic imperatives beyond their control? Your VA staus is different: the benefit of dedication, commitment and service, your own merit not an arbitrary classification. Don't discount that, you earned it.

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Haha - years ago, I went to an AICPA dinner as a new member, along with another guy from my office who was also a newbie. The speaker was the CFO from Union Oil, supposedly to talk about the economy. Instead all I remember was “Our great president!” (Reagan at the time), “Our great country!”, “Our great flag!”. I leaned over to the other guy and said, “I can’t believe how I keep getting into groups of Republicans!” He looked at me, astonished. “You’re a Democrat?!? I’ve never met a Democrat before!” 🙄

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Blaming affirmative action for an attempt to level the playing field for those who were for years ordered to "stay off the grass" is racist.

But expecting better outcomes in quality or public contribution is foolish, sadly, as a very public example of such policies Gini's tool, well illustrates. After years of grooming, unambiguous direction, and the death of his imperious tutor he was even bold enough to ask questions in open court. It's easy to doubt the intellect of a legal mind willing to legally annul his own marriage.

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Even with outright quotas, wealth would win every time. The idea that AA harmed the privileged more than helped the disadvantaged is a pure fiction.

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It's about time someone called Harvard Law School out. I grew up with the impression that Harvard was the gold standard of schools. As a Massachusetts native, I had the impression that it was the pinnacle of success to achieve entry and actually graduate from there. Money ruins everything.

The fact that our legal system is riddled with rodent judges and rules that allow endless appeals has given lawyers a very bad name ; equivocating them to sharks. Why does our justice system allow frivolous suits? Money! Filthy rotten greed has ruined the trust in our 'justice system. Thank you ; Robert Reich, for this topic. It's about time to put their feet to the fire and name the problem! Maybe some day it can be rectified!

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Laurie, calling out Harvard and Yale for their poor entrance selection practices would be a good start. They accept so many legacies that little change can happen. Those legacys' parents want them to be "chips off the old block" and I suspect many of the "old blocks" have their own moral and ethical challenges that they don't want their offspring to deviate from, even if it is not spoken. Harvard et al just provide what is expected while claiming to be so much more. Shame on us for buying the nonsense that they are so much better than anyone else.

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Legacy chips off the old blockheads

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Beth B ; Hahaha! Also true! Keep the 'power' that goes along with the money.

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Ruth Sheets, true, and don't forget that the 'legacy ' is also the money!

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Lawyers having a bad name has been around for a long time. Wasn’t it Shakespeare who said, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers?”

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The rules of civil procedure, like the tax code, have opened the door to lawyers and accountants to dredge up billable hours, buried within arcane motion practice before the judges. Both rules of civil procedure, and the tax code need to be rewritten and a bunch of insidious and damaging complexity eliminated.  justice, like the tax code needs to be subjected to Occam‘s razor, and to commonsense ...always with an eye to elegance and justice. 

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I am old. I practiced in Pa before it adopted the Federal rules. In order to get discovery had to file a motion or a praecipe alleging that discovery was needed. We had NO discovery except a bill of particulars in many types of causes of action. Devices like demurrers and "preliminary objections" would cut off many deserving cases at the earliest stage. All pleadings, especially complaints had to be verified.

You are right that there is abuse. But IMHO the foxes still control the henhouse. The public gets to see only a piece of the whole claim.

As a judge, I did pre-hearing orders and put a lot of that stuff in them. In most areas local rules preclude abusive conduct. Lawyers can be sanctioned. I had limited jurisdiction but could certify a case for contempt to the USDC.

Trump had to file a supeseadeas bond of over a $ million to file an appeal from his SDFL sanctions case.

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Agree about the Tax Code. It is a magic net the ensnares little fish but allows the big fish to swim free.

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Say it again: "Money ruins everything!"

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America runs on money

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Yes, that's why we're in decline! (Though to be more precise, I don't think the problem is money itself (just a tool for accounting and inventory control) but *profit* -- the need to get more than one's fair share in every transaction.

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Bill Miller ; Yes, and with Citizens United , money is speech, which translates to power. they end up owning the government and its handmaiden, the Media.

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That's why more and more I think a steeply progressive wealth tax is the one simple solution to most of our problems. There would be less incentive to achieve insane levels of wealth if it's just going to be taxed away -- and there's less incentive to seek insane levels of power in order to achieve the former.

You'll note that all of the Republican shenanigans are directed toward that one thing: distract from the fact that the rich are always getting richer - to the detriment of everything else.

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Yes, exactly!

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Ted Cruz has been a continual embarrassment to Texas residents. Unfortunately, the chances for his rejection by voters in the state seem to be zero. His advocacy of appointing an electoral commission in the wake of the 2020 election was an outrage. He should not be in any public office.

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And to think that we could have had Paul Sadler as our junior Senator all this time, a person who is actually reasonably decent and capable of critical thinking. But noooooo, we got Cruz (in great part BECAUSE of his name -- so many voters didn't know he was such an idiot, they just vote for the Hispanic name).

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I just wrote about another RWNJ fascist phenomenon on an article from the Daily Kos' site.

Robert thinks and I agree that Ted Cruz (don't call me Rafael) & Ron DeSantis (DeSatan) are the only two of the possible 'others' able to put down TFG as of now.

Both are insanely flawed, are leaning, hell, falling for fascism so much that it's a wonder they're not flashing the Nazi logo.

These two are completely unfit to be in government in any capacity, at least where our Democratic Republic is concerned because of their f**ked up views of what they think they the country needs (more corporate welfare, no new taxes on the wealthy, and kowtowing to these religious extremists)-- NOT!

Stay 'woke' my friends.

That is all for now...

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JaBier, I am not sure either Cruz or DeSatan care about what the nation needs. They are thinking only of what gives them personal pleasure. I suspect they get off on thinking of how many people they can hurt and how many Democrats, people of color, and trans people they can take down and get away with it. They only seem to care about corporations when it involves money they can tap into in the form of donations. They are trying to solidify their place in a Naziesque world where hurting folks is rewarded. Neither is a decent human being.

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That's the understatement of the year. "Neither is a decent human being."

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Does one go to Law School to learn how to seek justice? Haha, just kidding.

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founding

For one's self - or for society? Not kidding - no joke!

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founding

PS: Go Bears!

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Similar to a comment I made years ago about MBA's being an expensive technical certification, but that would be unfair to technology, since the big MBA programs could just as well be renamed Masters of Wealth, Inequality, and Greed. Our profit and status driven "world class university" reputation is now horribly overpriced and status craving, just like our 2x the cost of ROW healthcare which has lowered our life expectancy to 53/54th or so in the world. Hypocrisy rises to the top: thousands of lives destroyed by war on drugs, while intentional homicide never punished for one company driving mass opiate addiction & death, aspirations of safety in a land full of corrupt politicians, sociopathic cops, and paranoid triggered gun worshippers, and the rot infecting a GIP even Abe wouldn't recognize. The USSC has laid waste our Constitution with secret political donations, Fetus deification, and 6 deeply corrupt Federalist Society tools with the required sub-standard intellect, empathy vacuum, and free of genuine real-legal experience to be forever dependent on their overlords for orders. But Harvard has no monopoly, let's not overlook UC Berkeley's Professor John Yoo, who shares the shilling for Trump title, worked to nullify our deepest, most comprehensive, and pivotal international obligations (Geneva Conventions, freely used against Nazis and ignored by Bush/Chaney/Yoo), pushes warrior executive BS with no war, plus unitary executive heresy and likely on the FS shortlist for USSC. He includes the petigrees of Yale, Harvard, and UC all in one toxic Bolton-like package. A few of his students could likely nuke the Constitution (or Gas it, he's against poison gas treaties because, mass death) in seconds.

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Summed it up nicely Mark. Well done.

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

Nailed the current Stench Court with your on target adjectives! Excellent description of the weak Chief Justice Roberts, and Associate Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett.

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I took some online courses (MOOCs) from Ivy League schools. My impression was that our Democratic Republic was designed to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the masses. That is why we have checks and balances, bicameral, electoral college, etc. Madison explains in Federalist paper # 10. The masses can't be trusted, so "we" will make it almost impossible for them to get their way. It has worked the way it was intended. Although more than 70 % of the population wants single-payer universal healthcare, we still don't have it. Obama let us down, as did Clinton. They joined the ranks of the wealthy elite, as did many of our legislators who became wealthy after being elected.

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Gloria, thanks for the reminder of the remarks to be found by investing our minds in digging into these old remarks from our founding fathers, revealing more of the "Root Causes" the provide the answer to the question WHY !!

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RemovedFeb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023
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traitor joe.

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Let’s also remember the elite business schools, including Harvard, which have taught their MBA students that increasing shareholder value is the goal of the corporation. Nothing else matters. This lesson has been the downfall of many once-great companies and part of the reason we have such inequitable distribution of wealth.

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When I say the US has the best government money can buy, I also include the educational and the legal system in that indictment. Ask anyone poor or of color if they get justice in America and prepare to be laughed out of the house. We are a nation of ideals most often honored in their breach.

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just Us! -- it's not for Everyone.

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You shouldn’t have let Yale Law off so easily given that Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh and Josh Hawley are alums.

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omg -- don't they

Screen these people?

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Feb 7, 2023·edited Feb 7, 2023

Screen them ‽ Hell! They >cultivate< them! LOL!

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Mike Pompeo, Harvard Law

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There needs to be a comprehensive list and Harvard (and Yale) need to answer for it.

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Oh, another really repulsive fascist! I hope Reich didn't name him because he believes Pompeo has no chance.

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